The former headteacher of three West Berkshire primary schools has been caught with indecent images of children.
Gerry Heaton was a pillar of the education establishment, serving as an adviser to West Berkshire Council schools’ Therapeutic Thinking Support Team (TTST) for vulnerable or troubled youngsters until his arrest.
But the 57-year-old was hiding a dreadful secret – since 2012, he had been hoarding indecent images of children at his home, many of them in the most extreme classification, Category A showing the rape of kids
Mr Heaton was headteacher at Hungerford Primary School from January 2014 until taking early retirement in August 2017.
Previously, he was headteacher at Inkpen Primary School for more than eight years, from April 2008.
And before that, from January 2001, Mr Heaton had been deputy headteacher and acting headteacher at Lambourn Primary School.
He was serving as a specialist teacher at Theale Primary School in the months before his arrest and had served as school governor at Kintbury St Mary’s Primary School.
Mr Heaton, a former pupil at John O’Gaunt School in Hungerford, was considered an inspirational educator to generations of youngsters.
He was also keen on amateur dramatics and was an enthusiastic member of the Kintbury Players.
But his reputation is now in tatters.
Mr Heaton, of Bradley Close, Kintbury, has admitted possessing hundreds of indecent images of children.
Specifically, he was caught with 124 images classified as Category C; 131 in Category B and 66 in Category A.
All the offences were committed in Kintbury between January 21, 2012 and September 9, 2021.
Mr Heaton, who was charged under his formal first name, Gerard, made the admissions during a brief appearance at Reading Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates ruled that the matters were so serious that they should be sentenced by a judge sitting at Reading Crown Court on a date to be fixed.
Mr Heaton was meanwhile released on unconditional bail.
He is no longer an adviser to the TTST, which aims to help young people who experience social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) difficulties.
All the above primary schools are state maintained, apart from Lambourn Primary School, which is managed by the Excalibur Academies Trust.
A spokesman for West Berkshire Council said: “We are aware of the ongoing criminal proceedings, and until they have concluded it would be inappropriate for us to comment.”
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